BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA (AFP) – A Sumatran tiger attacked and injured two farmers in a small Indonesian town yesterday, the second such attack in days, as officials vowed to capture the big cat or cats responsible.
The latest attack took place in a protected forest reserve in Aceh province – which sits on the northern tip of Sumatra island, in the country’s west – at about 2am.
Sumatran tigers – targetted by poachers for their body parts – are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild.
They are also afflicted by increasing conflict with humans, and rampant deforestation that has reduced their natural habitat.
Yesterday’s attack left both victims with serious injuries to their heads, hands and feet, a local conservation agency told AFP. “We will rescue and relocate the tiger,” the head of the Aceh conservation agency Agus Rianto told AFP. Images seen by AFP showed a victim with a deep gash across the back of his head, after the attack in Kluet Tengah subdistrict in southern Aceh.
Soldiers, conservation officials and rangers were deployed for the search effort after a tiger attacked four locals in the same reserve last Saturday, leaving one in a critical condition.